The Moroccan economy is still suffering from chronic lack of employment prospects, defying the government’s repeated promises to increase employment.
Rabat – A high unemployment rate and disconnect between the labor market and universities continues to plague Morocco’s economy, despite the government’s confidence it can solve the persisting problem.
According to Moroccan economy-focused outlet Les Inspirations Eco, stagnant performance in the labor sector was one of the markers of 2018 for the El Othmani-led government.
Between the first half of 2017 and the second half of 2018, the government’s performance in creating jobs was far below the set target, the newspaper reported.
While the government promised to lower unemployment to 8.5 percent by 2021, the current rate (10 percent) suggests that the government is falling behind schedule and will most probably not hit its 2021 target. According to Les Inspirations Eco, a breakdown of the national unemployment rate is even more worrying.
In urban settings, generally associated with better job prospects, the unemployment rate is 14 percent. Among young people without a university education the rate is 27.5 percent, and among university graduates it is 17.1 percent.
The government, led by the Justice and Development Party (PJD), promised to create 1.2 million jobs during its five-year mandate. To realize that promise, the government would have to create a little over 200,000 jobs annually.
Last year, however, the country’s labor market generated only 122,000 jobs. The government’s promises are “imaginative,” the newspaper commented, explaining that Morocco’s current economic performance cannot even get close to achieving the government’s goals.
But the government, unrepentant, believes that it is on track despite “minor” setbacks and can hit its targets by 2021.
In response to statistics showcasing the government’s “imaginative” promises, government sources pointed out the creation of programs like “Idmaj,” “Taehil,” and “Taefiz” which last year eased professional integration for thousands of government recruits. The government is hoping to capitalize on such “active programs” to attract more candidates to the public sector.
Defending the government’s 2021 projections, the employment and civil service ministry suggested that in addition to the figures noted in reports such as Les Inspirations Eco’s, nearly 135,000 recruits from 2018 are in the process of signing contracts before being confirmed as full-time government employees.